Dorothy Gale is swept away from a farm in Kansas to a magical land of Oz in a tornado and embarks on a quest with her new friends to see the Wizard who can help her return home to Kansas and help her friends as well.
In 1930's Austria, a young woman named Maria is failing miserably in her attempts to become a nun. When the Navy captain Georg Von Trapp writes to the convent asking for a governess that can handle his seven mischievous children, Maria is given the job. The Captain's wife is dead, and he is often away, and runs the household as strictly as he does the ships he sails on. The children are unhappy and resentful of the governesses that their father keeps hiring, and have managed to run each of them off one by one. When Maria arrives, she is initially met with the same hostility, but her kindness, understanding, and sense of fun soon draws them to her and brings some much-needed joy into all their lives -- including the Captain's. Eventually he and Maria find themselves falling in love, even though Georg is already engaged to a Baroness and Maria is still a postulant. The romance makes them both start questioning the decisions they have made. Their personal conflicts soon become ...Written by
Both Christopher Plummer and Julie Andrews were offered lead roles in the Sound of Music (Captain Von Trapp and Maria, respectively). Both turned the roles down; insisting there was "too much sugar" in the show. Julie Andrews even appeared in a television special with Carol Burnett, 1962's "Julie and Carol at Carnegie Hall" where they spoofed the sound of music in a skit called "The Pratt Singers". And Christopher Plummer routinely made fun of Sound of Music behind the scenes; nicknaming it "S and M" and "The Sound of Mucus." In spite of this resistance, Robert Wise got them both on board. Their contributions to the show made it much more realistic; the Captain became less of a stereotype; and Julie Andrews worked with Wise to make the whole show less fake and schmaltzy; and she tried to give Maria more realistic dimensions. (She even said to Wise and the producers at one point, "How are we going to get the sugar out of this show?") The result was that the movie is very different from the 1959 Mary Martin Broadway show. The movie still got skewered by the critics for being "saccharine and phony". (Robert Wise even wondered "What did we do wrong? " in the midst of all this.) But their changes are generally considered to be a huge improvement; the movie is considered to be better than it's Broadway source material; and they helped make this one of the most successful movies of all time. If you factor in inflation and the price of tickets from 1965 vs today; this is still one of the most successful movies of all time box office wise; (second only to Gone WIth the Wind) and it is still the most successful movie musical of all time. And it even won the Oscar for best picture; in spite of the critics' pillorying! So Andrews and Plummer succeeded in making it less sugary and more accessible to the masses. (Ironically, just as Andrews and Plummer turned down the roles for being too saccharine, so did director Robert Wise turn down the director's job when they offered it to him because he thought the story was too saccharine! And a host of other A-List Hollywood directors like Gene Kelly and Stanley Donen; for the same reason! Wise had to be approached a couple times for this. It seems nobody wanted to do Sound Of Music, because everyone thought it was too saccharine! This is ironic since it turned out to be one of the most successful movies ever made!) See more »
During Maria's 'I Have Confidence' song there is a field with a horse behind her to the right and as she continues singing she goes down a path that puts that would put that field on her right. In the next shot of her singing there is a long building on her right with no sign of the horse or field. See more »
The hills are alive with the sound of music / With songs they have sung for a thousand years. / The hills fill my heart with the sound of music. / My heart wants to sing every song it hears.
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Salzburg, Austria, in the last Golden Days of the Thirties See more »
Home video versions usually display "Entr'acte" on screen during the overture after intermission (45th anniversary in a style matching the intermission card, 30th to 40th anniversary in roman caps over a dissolving series of landscapes, for example). Some film prints have just a blank screen for the entire overture. See more »
Has Julie Andrews ever appeared on film more beautifully than in this film? Has she ever sung with such richness and gusto as is captured here? As a big fan of hers, I can watch this musical over and over and just sigh.
Wise and his cinematographer have photographed Andrews in a manner that no other director has--even her husband. Watch the scene where Maria watches the Captain sing Edelweiss with the kids. Wise turns her into a gauzy angel. It is a fantastic moment among hundreds that this movie contains.
I am firmly in a camp that says Julie Andrews was completely, utterly, and regrettably robbed when the 1965 Oscars were handed out. She embodied Maria Von Trapp, wholly and with every fiber of her being (just watch the scene in which she races the boys in a segment of "Do-Re-Mi"; she runs at the camera with utter abandon here, no holding back. Or consider the shot at the end of this song, where she places her hand atop her head--it's as if even SHE can't believe she's hitting that note).
The Julie Christie performance that beat Andrews is now all but forgotton. "The Sound of Music," however, lives on and on.
"The Sound of Music" is a bit bittersweet for me, given that audiences tastes would soon turn away from big-budget musicals in general and Julie Andrews specifically. But what a legacy it (and she) have left!
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